"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Friday, December 29, 2006

Some thoughts on the dreaded "s" word; SIN

["Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive." - C.S. Lewis

I can relate to this quote very well. On this topic of sin, as far as the secular culture is concerned, it is pretty apparent why it is not a popular word or concept to think about. Our autonomous nature rejects the idea that there is a supernatural power outside of ourselves that effects our actions and behavior. The unbeliever wants to believe that they are in control and that as long as they try hard enough, they are able to morally perfect lives. Under this ideal, when they do sin, they do not take ownership of it completely, they internally find an excuse for their misbehavior.

As far as the "S" word in regards to the Church, I have found that is seems that the prevailing or predominant attitude that exists in the God's covenant community in our culture today is that of self-esteem, self-reliance and being positive and energetic. "It won't do anyone any good, to point out or focus on our mistakes." "Instead we need to act like we're perfect, happy people." "We are capable of leading positive, happy lives as long as we put our mind to it."

The problem with this is that we are effected by sin. Our thoughts and our actions are constantly effected by sin. Even though, we are able to fight our sinful nature and we are able to do good and behave ourselves for the most part in the presence of our family and friends in the Church, we are still prone to and inevitably will sin and make mistakes and say or do things that will offend and or harm the people around us.

This of course is reality and it is often a hard fact. It is hard to deal with our own and others sin. It is hard to forgive people and continue loving them even though they might be "imperfect," and it is hard for them to do the same when you sin against them.

So as far as the Church is concerned, it seems that it has been easier to try to ignore or hide our sin instead of confront it and deal with it. I have found that another reality that seems to exist in the Church today is the lack of exhortation coming from each other and the pulpit. Again this has to do with an over all attitude of self-esteem/positiveness. People don't want to be told how they are sinful and what they need to do to walk straighter paths for God. They don't want to be made to feel that they are morally bankrupt and that they need Christ. So instead, they have decided to ignore this essential part of the Gospel.

While I do agree that too much of a focus on sin and exhortation every week can be unedifying; not to focus on it at all is equally unedifying. Exhortation is necessary because as I've pointed out, the body consists of believers and non-believers. There are those who are not being sanctified in the spirit that need to be reminded to check themselves. Exhortation is just as necessary in the Church today as it was in the New Testament church. Learning about sin and being exhorted to turn from it leads to repentance which is what we do when we admit to our own inability to have a right relationship with God and our need to rely on Jesus as our mediator. Without guilt, self examination and asking God for forgiveness then we truly aren't understanding the gospel.

So therefore "Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing." 1 Peter 3:8-9

"8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling." 1 Peter 4:8-9

and "16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed." James 5:16

In His grace,


"Dave" was a commenter on Tim Challies' blog. Excellent comment!

Monday, December 25, 2006

He came to Earth for us

God humbled Himself to come to Earth in the form of a man that we, the weak-piteous-sinful, might be reconciled with him The Perfect-Righteous-Holy.

It doesn't make sense to me Lord, but thank you for doing this.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Brodhead calls for Nifong to step down

It's about time.

Online Update: 12/22
Staff Reports

In response to Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong's decision Friday to drop charges of rape in the Duke lacrosse case, President Richard Brodhead questioned Nifong's conduct and called for the district attorney to relieve himself of his duties in the case.

Brodhead said Nifong's decisive public statements about the rape allegations and subsequent decision to drop the charge call into question of the validity of the remaining charges that have been brought against three members of the 2005-2006 men's lacrosse team-kidnapping and sexual offense.

"The district attorney should now put this case in the hands of an independent party, who can restore confidence in the fairness of the process," Brodhead said in a statement. "Further, Mr. Nifong has an obligation to explain to all of us his conduct in this matter."

Brodhead added that he was relieved for the players and their families.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Bible; forever a best seller?

"The familiar observation that the Bible is the best-selling book of all time obscures a more startling fact: the Bible is the best-selling book of the year, every year. Calculating how many Bibles are sold in the United States is a virtually impossible task, but a conservative estimate is that in 2005 Americans purchased some twenty-five million Bibles—twice as many as the most recent Harry Potter book. The amount spent annually on Bibles has been put at more than half a billion dollars." MORE

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My mother died

My mother died today; 8 months after my father passed away. She was 84, they were married 63 years.
She was having trouble catching her breath this morning, a chronic problem. My sister had an ambulance pick her up and take her to the hospital. The doctors were instructed to do nothing extraordinary. Since my Dad died, Mom had been waiting to go and be with him in Heaven.
They were devout followers of Jesus Christ. Almost 1 year ago my Mom had an incident where she almost died and described it as "being at the gate." We brought her back that time but this time; with her missing Dad so much, we let her go. She was at the hospital a little less than 4 hours when she died. The last two hours she spent asking God to take her.
She was a great and Godly lady. I'll miss Mom. We shared each other's sense of humor.
Go in peace Mom! Your son

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Crisis in Faith

THE WITTENBURG HALL has an article on the Crisis in Faith. Here

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Motherhood before Matrimony

This is NOT good news.

“New data released by the Centers for Disease Control show that nearly four in 10 U.S. babies were born outside of marriage in 2005—a new high.”

Friday, December 01, 2006

Legalism & You

(Great Stuff here; Martha Pearce excerpted on sharperiron.com)

What Legalism Does

There are many problems with legalism. Consider the following list:

1. Legalism takes our attention off Jesus Christ by focusing on our own efforts rather than what He has done for us.
2. Legalism takes away the believer’s freedom by substituting conformity for control by the Spirit.
3. Legalism attempts to put God in the position of being a debtor. It thinks God owes us something when we do good.
4. Legalism results in regression in the Christian life.
5. Legalism is performance-oriented. It focuses more on what one does than on who one is.
6. Legalism brings about harshness and conflict in one’s relationships. The reason for this is because legalism creates an elitist attitude in which conformity is demanded and failure is not tolerated.
7. Legalism will rob a Christian of joy, for he will never know the “rest” that faith brings. A legalist is so intent on doing that he does not know how to enjoy God’s acceptance.
8. Legalists are very zealous. This is why legalism brings results, but the results are counterfeits.
9. Legalism is selective in the matters it chooses and promotes. It will take parts of God’s Law but ignore the rest. It is never consistent. An interesting aspect is not what legalism forbids but what it overlooks.
10. Legalism will affect everything if unchecked. Given time it will control everything—individual churches, schools, and denominations.
11. Legalism attacks grace. Legalists will accuse those who preach grace of being antinomian (lawless). But this cannot be true because what grace really does is strip away any pretense of spiritual achievement. Grace promotes obedience to God because of His blessings to us. Grace is a license to serve, not a license to sin.
12. Legalism is inflexible and condemnatory. It refuses to see many, if any, gray areas in the Christian life. Legalists have rules for almost every area of life and have a negative judgmental attitude toward those who do not comply with their standards. This can result in a very tense environment.
13. Legalism promotes pride and self-righteousness. Of course the legalist denies this, but it is true nevertheless.
14. Legalism opts for a lower standard than God’s. The kind of legalism that emphasizes many man-made rules becomes satisfied with what is really an inferior standard. Consider the following vivid contrast between man-made rules and God’s high and holy law. Man-made rules: don’t wear jewelry or makeup or denim clothing, burn your secular music because it has demons in it, don’t practice any birth control, insist that men’s hair must be above their ears. God’s Law: love God and love others.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Pastor's Burden

One must always be careful of stats but.... from Focus on the Family research

* 1,500 pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, contention in churches, or spiritual burnout.
* 50 percent of pastors will be divorced by the time they leave the ministry.
* 80 percent of pastors and 84 percent of spouses feel discouraged or unqualified in their roles as pastors.
* 50 percent are so discouraged they would leave if they could but have no other way to make a living.
* our out of five seminary and Bible school grads who enter the ministry will leave it in the first five years after graduation.
* 80 percent of spouses feel their spouse is over-worked. 80 percent wish their husbands would leave the ministry.
* 80 percent of pastor’s wives say the most destructive event that ever occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered ministry.
* 70 percent of pastors fight depression.
* 40 percent have had an extramarital affair since starting ministry.
* 70 percent of pastors say that the only time studying the Word is when they are preparing a sermon.

That is troubling to say the least.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

If You're Depressed & Hopeless

If your depressed and hopeless there's some good stuff HERE

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It'll only get worse

Found on Breitbart.com

Out-of-wedlock births in the United States have climbed to an all-time high, accounting for nearly four in 10 babies born last year, government health officials said Tuesday.

While out-of-wedlock births have long been associated with teen mothers, the teen birth rate actually dropped last year to the lowest level on record. Instead, births among unwed mothers rose most dramatically among women in their 20s.

The overall rise reflects the burgeoning number of people who are putting off marriage or living together without getting married.

Children without a Daddy. It guarantees a burgeoning society of sociopaths.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Not the Democrats but God

from Russell Moore

"The news networks tell us that the new majority in the United States House and Senate is the result of a "wave" of Democratic Party voters. From a human and historical vantage point, that's true. But as those who believe in the providence of God, it is also true that "there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God" (Rom 13:1 HCSB). For whatever reason, this past Tuesday God decided that Nancy Pelosi will be sitting behind President Bush at next year's State of the Union address. And God decided that outgoing Speaker Denny Hastert would not be seated there."

God's purposes were served by this weeks election. He has not lost control of the Congress of the United States. From God, it could be punishment or it could also be preparation.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Power of Francis Schaeffer

( He had immeasurable impact on evangelical Christianity) Challies.com

"Francis Schaeffer was given many gifts by God to bring blessing on the Church, but I think that most of those who worked with him would agree that his two greatest gifts were the way he led discussions and answered people’s questions and his preaching. I will never forget some of the sermons I heard him preach. The fact that his voice was high and often would crack as he emphasized a point, the reality that no-one could describe him as ‘charismatic’ or ‘strikingly handsome’ in appearance - these things were completely unimportant. I would listen to a message, often for well over an hour, and be captivated by the truth from God’s Word that was communicated with such clarity and power and with such relevance to our own moment of history and such immediate application to my life. One sermon on Rahab often comes back to me: ‘we are all harlots’ Francis declared, ‘we have all prostituted ourselves constantly to other gods.’ There are many others of his sermons that have left this same indelible impression on my mind."

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Maintaining the hedges for a pastor

(From Pastor Mark Driscoll's blog)

Evangelical Leader Quits Amid Allegations of Gay Sex and Drug Use

The news has been abuzz with controversy surrounding the allegations that Ted Haggard had a three-year homosexual relationship with a male prostitute that included drug use. Haggard is pastor of a 14,000-member church in Colorado, president of the National Association of Evangelicals that has some 30 million members, friend of men like George Bush, and outspoken opponent of homosexuality and gay marriage.

The news broke in a television interview with the homosexual prostitute.

Pastor Haggard answers questions about allegations. 9NEWS.com November 3, 2006

A follow-up article by the Associated Press said that Haggard purchased methamphetamines from the gay prostitute but claims he never used them. He also admitted to getting a massage from the gay prostitute but denies any sexual activity between the two.

Of course the media is having a field day with the scandal, particularly since Haggard’s home state of Colorado is on the brink of a highly charged political vote regarding homosexual rights. It will likely take weeks to untangle the truth in all of this very devastating news. In the meantime, let us pray that his wife and five children will be loved and supported through this incredibly difficult time. The horror they must be experiencing is likely unbearable.

As every pastor knows, we are always at risk from the sin in us and the sinful temptations around us. Pastoring in one of America’s least churched cities to a large number of single, young people has been an eye-opening experience for me. I started the church ten years ago when I was twenty-five years of age. Thankfully, I was married to a beautiful woman. I met my lovely wife Grace when we were seventeen, married her at twenty-one, and by God’s grace have been faithful to her in every way since the day we met. I have, however, seen some very overt opportunities for sin. On one occasion I actually had a young woman put a note into my shirt pocket while I was serving communion with my wife, asking me to have dinner, a massage, and sex with her. On another occasion a young woman emailed me a photo of herself topless and wanted to know if I liked her body. Thankfully, that email was intercepted by an assistant and never got to me.

My suspicion is that as our culture becomes more sexually rebellious, things will only get worse. Therefore, as a means of encouragement, I would like to share some practical suggestions for fellow Christian leaders, especially young men:

* The only way to stay away from sin is to stay close to Jesus. Colossians says that we are prone to making a lot of rules but that if we don’t deal with the issues in our heart, we are fooling ourselves; holiness cannot be obtained by the sheer force of white-knuckled will power. More than anyone, a Christian leader needs time with Jesus in repentance, for their own soul and not just to make them a better leader or teacher. Death comes to every Christian leader who goes to Jesus and Scripture for purely functional and not relational purposes.

* Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this. It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.
* Every pastor needs a pastor. Too often the pastor is seen as a sort of little God and his wife as some glorified First Lady. Every pastor needs a pastor with whom he can regularly have accountability and the confession of sin. Every pastor’s wife also needs a godly woman chosen for her maturity and trustworthiness.

* No church should tolerate sexual sin among its leaders. Christians cannot be guilty of playing plank-speck with non-Christians on matters of pornography and homosexuality and be guilty of going soft on sin in their own leadership. As Paul says, nothing can be done out of partiality or favoritism.

Pastors should have their office at the church and their study at home. There is no reason a pastor should be sitting alone at the church at odd hours (e.g., early morning and late evening) to study when anyone can drop in for any reason and have access to him. Instead, a pastor should come into the office for scheduled meetings and work from home on tasks such as emails, planning, studying, sermon preparation, etc. I spend the vast majority of my time working from home. Some years ago when I did not, I found that lonely people, some of them hurting single moms wanting a strong man to speak into their life, would show up to hang out and catch time with me. It was shortly thereafter that I brought my books home and purchased a laptop and cell phone so that I was not tied to the church office.

* Pastors have the right to protect their own home. This means that if someone keeps dropping by unannounced and is unwelcome, or a flirtatious woman shows up to a Bible study at the pastor’s home, the pastor and his family have the right to request that they never return. The pastor’s home simply cannot be viewed as yet another piece of church property that is accessible to anyone who desires it. Rather, the pastor’s home must be a safe place for the pastor and his family without the wrong people rudely calling and dropping by.

* Churches should consider returning to heterosexual male assistants who are like Timothy and Titus to serve alongside pastors. Too often the pastor’s assistant is a woman who, if not sexually involved, becomes too emotionally involved with the pastor as a sort of emotional and practical second wife. I have been blessed with a trustworthy heterosexual male assistant who can travel with me, meet with me, etc., without the fear of any temptations or even false allegations since we have beautiful wives and eight children between us.

* Pastors need to protect their email and have it screened for accountability. For me, this means that no email but an email from one of our pastors comes directly to me. This also means that I leave my email account open at home and my wife regularly checks it to get schedule information, etc., because I have nothing to hide. I also do not have a secondary email account from which to build a secret identity.

* Pastors need to carefully protect their cell phone number. If that private number gets out, too many of the wrong people have access to the pastor. Not only should the cell phone number of a pastor be given out to only a few people, he should also consider eliminating his voicemail and simply have calls forwarded to his assistant. In this way people will not become too informal with the pastor and if the pastor knows someone is trouble (e.g., a flirtatious woman), he can see that on his caller ID and simply refuse to answer the call or have to deal with a voicemail.

* Pastors must speak freely and frankly with their wives about their temptations. Without this there really can be no walking in the light and sin always grows in darkness.

* Pastors must not travel alone; the anonymity and fatigue of the road is too great a temptation for many men. A pastor should take his wife, an older child, an assistant, or fellow leader with him. If this cannot be afforded then travel should not be undertaken.

* Any pastor who is drifting toward serious sexual sin should have the courage, love for God, devotion to his family, and respect for his church to simply fall on his sword and resign before he goes down in flames. He must get the professional help he needs without fear of losing his position as a pastor. It is much better to be an honest Christian than a wicked pastor.

* Lastly, the big issue is a love and fear of God. Only a man really knows his heart and whether or not he loves and fears God above all else. Without this a man will fail to live for God’s glory, and it is only a matter of time.

In conclusion, I say none of this as moralism. Indeed, this is a deeply rooted gospel issue. How can we proclaim that our God is a faithful Trinitarian community if we are not faithful to our marriage covenant and family? How can we say that the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us if we have no holiness in our life? How can we proclaim that we are new creations in Christ if we continually return to lap up the vomit of our old way of life? How can we preach that sin is to be repented of if we fail to model that ongoing repentance? How can we say that God is our highest treasure and greatest joy when we trade Him for sin that defiles our hands and defames His name?

I do not know the guilt or innocence of Haggard. But I do know that this is a sobering reminder to take heed of, lest we fall.
Mark Driscoll

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Future of us All

Martin Lloyd Jones being interviewed years ago. More

Q: What do you think Christianity ought to say to the economic situation today?

A: I think the great message we must preach is God's judgment on men and on the world. Because man is a sinner, any human contrivance is doomed to fail; the only hope for the world is the return of Christ—nothing else. It amazes me that evangelicals have suddenly taken such an interest in politics; to do so would have made sense 50 or 100 years ago, but such efforts now seem to me sheer folly, for we are in a dissolving world. All my life I've opposed setting "times and seasons," but I feel increasingly that we may be in the last times.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

God & Prayer

D.A. Carson “…we must remember that the Bible simultaneously pictures God as utterly sovereign, and as a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God. Unless we perceive this, and learn how to act on these simultaneous truths, not only will our views of God be distorted, but our praying is likely to wobble back and forth between a resigned fatalism that asks for nothing and a badgering desperation that exhibits little real trust.”

The fear is there

From Peggy Noonan; I think she's on to something. Whole enchilada here.

"Something’s up. And deep down, where the body meets the soul, we are fearful. We fear, down so deep it hasn’t even risen to the point of articulation, that with all our comforts and amusements, with all our toys and bells and whistles . . . we wonder if what we really have is . . . a first-class stateroom on the Titanic. Everything’s wonderful, but a world is ending and we sense it.

I don’t mean: “Uh-oh, there’s a depression coming,” I mean: We live in a world of three billion men and hundreds of thousands of nuclear bombs, missiles, warheads. It’s a world of extraordinary germs that can be harnessed and used to kill whole populations, a world of extraordinary chemicals that can be harnessed and used to do the same.

Three billion men, and it takes only half a dozen bright and evil ones to harness and deploy.

What are the odds it will happen? Put it another way: What are the odds it will not? Low. Nonexistent, I think."

Crazy times; crazy people.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Anonymous apologies site

The pain pours from the posts. Here's one of many.

"I'm sorry that I allow every bad thing that has happened in my life affect relationship after relationship and now our marriage. I'm sorry that I've been cheated on and lied to and that when you kept your conversations with your ex-wife from me that I hated you. I'm sorry that you make me feel like you are going to cheat on me and lie to me because as my past dictates that is what happens next. I'm sorry that you are cold hearted and unemotional and that you can't "fully invest yourself in me." You are a fool for breaching my trust. You have fallen from the pedastule that I once placed you on. You are in a bad place. We just got married 4 months ago and I already distrust you. Go buy a pack of cigarettes already.

I'm sorry that the truth is that if I finally went to confession I'd probably burst into flames or spontaneously combust. I'm sorry that I have lied, cheated, stolen, coveted my friends husband and then married him after I caused them to get a divorce, faked being sick to get your attention and sympathy. I'm sorry that I am on medication and I hate it. I'm sorry that no matter what you do you will never be good enough for me because I am so messed up in the head. I'm sorry that I am overweight and take life for granted. I'm sorry that I hate my biological mother and think my biological father is a sorry excuse for a sperm donor. I hate who I am and I am sorry that you are learning to hate me too. I'm sorry that I my heart has been broken and you are responsible for that. I'm sorry that I bounce checks and don't fold the laundry and slack on the dishes. I'm sorry that our relationship is 70/30 and you do all the emotional work. I wish I could be your rock but I am mental and I suck. I wish there was a medication for all of this.

I am sorry that you think that you are so great but you are just like all the other guys who have broken my heart. I'm sorry that I thought you were great and married you. I'm sorry that you can be such a jerk sometimes and don't care about my feelings. I'm sorry that I am not good enough for you either."

Kim's inner child

Kim Jong-Il Sorry for Nuke Test, Molested as Child
by Scott Ott

(2006-10-21) — North Korean President Kim Jong-Il today reportedly told Chinese diplomats that he regrets his government’s recent detonation of a nuclear device, and he revealed that he had been molested as a child.

“President Kim is sorry, and he takes full responsibility for the atomic bomb test,” said an unnamed Chinese source, “but in the spirit of transparency and vulnerability, he wants people to know about the childhood molestation incident.”

The North Korean leader has reportedly checked himself into a rehab center to “heal his inner child and boost his self-esteem,” but a spokesman said he is not ashamed to come out of the closet as a fascist dictator.

“A lot people are going to trot out the old myths that fascist dictators are dangerous to society,” said the spokesman. “But short of a few isolated genocides and unprovoked invasions, there’s little evidence to substantiate that claim. It’s time to move past recriminations over the nuclear test, and let bygones be bygones.”

Friday, October 20, 2006

Paucity of Preaching

Great stuff by Al Mohler found on Tim Challies blog.

The State of Preaching

I don't often read The Southern Seminary Magazine but noticed an interesting article in the most recent edition. In the "President's Journal," Al Mohler writes a brief commentary on "The State of Preaching Today." As he reflects on this, he writes "On the one hand, there are signs of great promise and encouragement. On the other hand, several ominous trends point toward dangerous directions for preaching in the future. The last few decades have been a period of wanton experimentation in many pulpits and preaching has often been redefined and reconceived as something other than the exposition and application of the biblical text."

He considers five points relevant to the downgrade of preaching:

A loss of confidence in the power of the Word - Our culture is gravitating towards images as the preferred mode of communication. Words are, then, necessarily losing their power and this in turns impacts preaching. But "the audacious claim of Christian preaching is that the faithful declaration of the Word of God, spoken through the preacher’s voice, is even more powerful than anything music or image can deliver."

An infatuation with technology - "We live in a day of technological hubris and the ubiquity of technological assistance. For most of us, the use of these technologies comes with little attentiveness to how the technology reshapes the task and the experience. The same is true for
preachers who have rushed to incorporate visual technology and media in the preaching event." While technology is not inherently bad, it has allowed the visual to overcome the verbal. And yet God has chosen to be heard and not seen. We know God not through what we see but what we read and hear. We know God through the Word.

An embarrassment before the biblical text - "Many preachers simply disregard and ignore vast sections of Scripture, focusing instead on texts that are more comfortable, palatable and non-confrontational to the modern mind." There is much in the Bible that makes us uncomfortable and maybe even a little bit embarrassed. But the Bible, from cover to cover, is the Word of God and must be taught. It all exists for our edification and we must not dismiss those parts that are more difficult to understand and reconcile.

An evacuation of biblical content - "Another problem that leads to an evacuation of biblical content is a loss of the “big picture” of Scripture." Rather than preaching the big picture of the Bible and rather than pointing to the story of redemption, many preachers focus instead on only individual passages, treating them much like fortune cookies and acting as if they are disconnected from the rest of Scripture.

An absence of the Gospel - "The clear presentation of the Gospel must be a part of the sermon, no matter the text. As Charles Spurgeon expressed this so eloquently, preach the Word, place it in its canonical context and 'make a bee-line to the cross.'" Too few preachers speak of issues of morality and practical living, but omit a clear presentation of the gospel. In so doing they eviscerate the power of preaching.

Too many churches and too many preachers have made preaching something it was never meant to be. Mohler's conclusion presents the simplicity of preaching. "In the end, the Christian preacher simply must confront the congregation with the Word of God. That confrontation will be at times awkward, challenging and difficult. After all, this is the Word that pierces us like a sword. The evangelical preacher must set his aim at letting the sword loose, neither hiding it nor dulling its edge."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Self descriptive?

Someone wrote this as they struggle to describe themselves and their blog. I like their use of the English language.

"I'm trying to get to the one-word version, but "Canadian--otherwise unspecified" is my working title.

As an alternative, some sycophantic alternatives: adulatory, bootlicking, crawling, deferential, fawning, flattering, ingratiating, kowtowing*, mealy-mouthed*, obsequious, parasitic, servile, slavish, toadying*."

How could you not like that person!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Steyn nails the mainline

Mona Charen talking about Mark Steyn's take on our current culture.

"Later, he warms to the subject: “Most mainline Protestant churches are, to one degree or another, post-Christian. If they no longer seem disposed to converting the unbelieving to Christ, they can at least convert them to the boggiest of soft-left political clichés, on the grounds that if Jesus were alive today he’d most likely be a gay Anglican bishop in a committed relationship driving around in an environmentally friendly car with an ‘Arms Are for Hugging’ sticker on the way to an interfaith dialogue with a Wiccan and a couple of Wahhabi imams.”

That is simply too rich! Steyn nails the mainline

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Banned Books: John McArthur?

FARMINGTON — Mary Greenwood, 75, scanned the adult literature at the Farmington Public Library on Monday before choosing Mary Higgins Clark’s “Two Little Girls in Blue” and John MacArthur’s “Safe in The Arms of God.”

Both books were on a shelf tagged with a yellow caution marker that read, “Caution. Item(s) on this shelf have been BANNED or CHALLENGED at other libraries. It’s Your FREEDOM We Are Talking About.”

In a not so curious note; the wildly liberal Modern Library Association has downplayed the "banned books" day because almost all of the books likely to be banned nowadays are of a politically or theologically conservative persuasion. The MLA is not actually wanting to defend those types of tomes.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Conflagration - Nuclear Nightmare

Excerpt found on Little Green Footballs from British historian Paul Johnson

As my eye fell to the bottom of the column, I began to grasp the source of its power. A white incandescence, low by comparison with the column but still perhaps a mile high and 20 or more broad, filled the skyline of the south horizon. Its fiery heat mitigated the gloom caused by the towering cloud above obscuring the sun. As my eyes grew accustomed to looking at this radiant epicentre, I saw that it was composed not only of white-hot elements, but also of fiery red particles, orange and blue flames, shooting heavenwards like the gigantic tongues which leap out of sunspots thousands of miles into space. There were also sporadic flashes of white, caused, I assumed, by continuing detonations on a stupendous scale. The epicentre was spreading steadily; or rather not entirely steadily, for it moved in spurts and formidable leaps, as well as munching and digesting its periphery. It was alive, this prodigious sore or cancer in London’s heart, expanding its frontiers all the time. It had swallowed and vaporised all Westminster, and sucked out the entire contents of the Thames and turned them into thick clouds. It had gone down the river at thousands of miles an hour, engulfed the City and its tall towers, vaporising steel, concrete, glass and water as it punched and thrashed and pounded the streets of massive buildings into nothingness — or, rather, minute particles of its flaming column, surging high into space. Now it was crumpling and atomising St James’s. MORE

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Big Church; No God! What a country

In Wired, Ana Marie Cox profiles the over-profiled Markos Moulitsas, but manages to come up with something interesting: the founder of DailyKos plans to move into the megachurch business. But the Church of Kos will be a little, well, different:

At what's arguably the top of his game, Moulitsas says he's "going offline" next year, taking his obvious knack for building online communities and applying it to that other great American pastime: sports. And once he gets his network of sports blogs ramped up, he'll turn to building communities in the real world, a chain of giant meeting places "replicating megachurches for the left" – complete with cafés and child care. Moulitsas has shown he can harness people's enthusiasm, but he says he doesn't want a leadership role in these "democracy centers"...

While working on the mechanics of the sports blogs, he plans to embark next year on building real-world destinations for progressives and liberals throughout the Midwest, "cultural outposts" designed to attract thousands of like-minded liberals. "Each one of these would have a vast left-wing conspiracy component," he says, like leadership training or discussions on progressive issues.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

They're not afraid of Christians


"That's where we kind of agree with some of the people who've criticized our show," Stone says. "Because it really is open season on Jesus. We can do whatever we want to Jesus, and we have. We've had him say bad words. We've had him shoot a gun. We've had him kill people. We can do whatever we want. But Mohammed, we couldn't just show a simple image."

I guess we all knew that! jb

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Money vs Providence (God)

Anna Nicole Smith ( famous/infamous blond entertainment personality) lost her 20 year old son last week to death.

I'm quite sure she would give up all the millions of dollars she inherited from the 80 plus year old man she was married to for a few months to have her son back. She has fought hard for the money but it will never bring her happiness.

Bill Gates and all his billions cannot outbid death. Nobody else can either. Death will have its victims; it doesn't seem to pay attention to wealth.

One of your choices in life; Pursuit of Money or pursuit of God.

"Who you gonna call?"

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Feckless Indeed


"It was a feckless and dissolute administration, staffed in many key places by the vain and the vacuous. The collective impact on the national security was one of fundamental unseriousness about everything. The bill was paid, and not by them. Now they resent any recollection of their fecklessness." Hugh Hewitt

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Being your own God

We all want to be our own god of course. Surely it is the most foolish desire we could ever harbor. Dan Phillips of Team Pyro nails it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Finding a girl at church

A poster at Garfield Ridge gave Dave some advice on how to meet some nice women. Dave made it plain beforehand he doesn’t believe in a God.

“actually, Dave, your best bet, i.m.o., is to find a mainstream protestant liturgical church with a largish population of 24-35 year old single women. Don't worry, you'd be attending for the express purpose of getting laid and/or having a meaningful relationship - any religious benefit would simply be icing on the cake.
For a guy your age, church offers a couple of benefits from a purely secular standpoint.
1 - most liturgical protestant (Lutheran, Episcopalian) churches aren't that gung-ho. No mid-service speaking in tongues or getting pulled before the congregation to witness before the group or that stuff. So you're not going to get button-holed about your faith life or put on the spot or otherwise discomfitted during the service.
2 - 11:00 services give you a reason to not stay out all night Saturday and a place to be late in the morning Sunday in a dressed, fairly presentable fashion. Again, this has nothing to do with 'God' and that. It's just that you're going to be in proximity to single women in the late morning on the weekend.
3- You get to meet these women socially in a situation with good lighting at a time when you can have a non-threatening coffee/brunch date after the service.
Since you're 1) male and 2) attending a service all by yourself, you'll be noticed by every. single. single woman at the service. Some of them will come up and ask your name if this is your first time attending the service. If you've got any sort of conversational game you can determine if it's a pond you want to fish.
5 - Churches are composed of groups - most have social activities during the week, away from the church. One church I attended after I turned 30 had a young adult ministry group (under 40) and we played pinnochle at members houses or apartments on a rotating schedule, no prayers to start, no God stuff, we drank and socialized, played cards and such. It was a good bunch of people, one of whom I dated.
Other times you can just talk with the gals during coffee hour after services and figure out a time to get together on a date. It's a nice place to have a conversation. Especially if you drop a 'I hope I'll see you next week" into the mix.
6 - How to behave during the service:
A) Sit 2/3rds of the way back in the congregation. This gives you time to notice what's happening around you when it's time for communion (do they start from the back or the front? Do they hand out stuff or do you walk up? )
B) Have a cover story, not much of one, but come up with a reason why you're there other than to get laid. "It's been a while since I attended church and I thought I'd like to visit a couple of congregations" is about all you need to say.
c) Look confident. God's not going to strike you dead and your pastor from your childhood isn't going to burst in and administer you a Faith Quiz. You're there. Treat it like a social anthropology experiment if you need something to think about
d) For most services it's 'stand, sit, stand, sit, stand, kneel, stand, sit, kneel, walk-up, walk-back, kneel, stand, exit'
If you're halfway charming and have reasonable grooming habits you're going to have more female attention than you'll know what to do with. Attractive females, too - you'd be surprised.
In the event you decide 'no f’ing way' - that's okay, I'm not the one hardup to get laid.
any good luck - good hunting.”

[ Dave responds; he’s not that desperate to fool somebody when he’s a thorough non-believer]
The poster responds back:
“Once you're actually dating a female regularly there's no obligation to continue to go to church on a weekly basis. Saturday night go out, take her back to your place, shag the reason out of her, and don't set the alarm clock.
Sure, you run the risk that you'll actually like the people in the congregation, that you'll enjoy the social contacts you've made, like the company and you'll figure that the entertainment value of church ($1 per hour, plus free coffee and cookies) is worth it so you'll fold up a dollar, put it in a pew envelope, and toss it in the collection plate, but - hey - life's a risky proposition.
Also, odds are better than 50/50 that she'll go along with skipping awhile, possibly all together. After all, the reason she's going to church in the first place is just to meet nicer guys than the ones she sees at the bars.
I'll make this guarantee, if you attend services at a reasonably big liturgical protestant church you'll start getting laid within the month on a regular basis. (Btw - 'liturgical' means that you follow a liturgy, which is a script. There are no surprises, no sudden outbreaks of congregational singing, or handling of serpents.)
Here's a place to start looking for congregations in your neck of the woods:
You can use data mining techniques, if you like. I did.
Lutheran congregations within 15 miles of Alexandria:
You'd want a congregation that's got more than 500 people registered or one that features an active singles group in their newsletters (most of which are online so you can browse to see how 'religiousy' they are.
Avoid Wisconsin or Missouri Synod congregations unless the chick is *smoking hot*.
btw - I'm not proseltyzing or concerned in any way, shape, or form about your immortal soul.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Fat, Weak and Unaware

Found on Little Green Footballs. Be afraid; be very, very afraid.

" The other side considers it a privilege to fight and die for its beliefs. Those on the other side cannot wait to line up to blow themselves up for their vision of heaven. On our side, it’s: “Let the other poor sap do it. I’ve got to make money.” How can we fight this fight with the brightest and best educated rushing off and working night and day to do private equity deals and derivatives trading? How can we fight this fight with the ruling class absent by its own sweet leave?

I keep thinking, again, that if Israel, with its back to the sea, cannot muster the will to fight in a big way, then the fat, faraway U.S.A. will never be able to do it. I keep saying this and it terrifies me.

We’re in a war with people who want to kill us all and wreck our civilization. They’re taking it very seriously. We, on the other hand, are worrying about leveraged buyouts and special dividends and how much junk debt the newly formed private entity can support before we sell it to the ultimate sucker, the public shareholder.

We’re worrying whether Hollywood will forgive Mel Gibson and what the next move is for big homes in East Hampton. We’re rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The terrorists are the iceberg.

WHAT stands between us and the iceberg are the miraculously brave men and women of the armed forces. They’re heroes and saints as far as I’m concerned. But can they do it without the rest of us? Can they do it while we’re all working on our tans and trying to have our taxes lowered again? How can we leave them out there all alone to die for us when we treat the war to save civilization as something we can just wish away?" Ben Stein NYT

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Battlin' Monks

It doesn’t get any more fun than this!

Monks brawl at peace protestThu Aug 17, 2006 2:10 PM ET
COLOMBO (Reuters) - Protesters calling for an end to recent violence in Sri Lanka found themselves brawling with hardline Buddhist monks Thursday, after a rally dubbed a "peace protest" turned unexpectedly violent.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I've opened another blog.

I hope to begin to be available for crisis counseling via this blog.

Enron CEO dies at 64

By ERIN McCLAM, AP National Writer Wed Jul 5, 5:22 PM ET

"He was a man, after all — not just some abstract symbol of corporate thievery and vanished investor billions. Kenneth Lay, founder of Enron Corp., was also a grandfather to 12, a husband to the woman who sobbed at his side on the day of his conviction.

And yet his sudden death early Wednesday in Colorado — his pastor said Lay's heart "simply gave out" — deprives the thousands of victims of the Enron debacle the satisfaction they said they would feel at his spending perhaps decades in prison, reflecting on his crimes.

The Enron founder's death, three months before he was to be sentenced, left many grappling with difficult questions of forgiveness, retribution and the meaning of justice itself."

One wonders what to say. But we are all reminded; DEATH for ALL of us will our way come!

God will not judge him on his ENRON leadership but on his hearts towards God. Justice always prevails after death.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Dick Cheney - amazing guy!

"In 2005 the Cheney's gross income was $8,819,006 and of that they gave $6,869,655 to charity. Wow."

Thursday, June 29, 2006


A quote from the late wit/genius Ambrose Bierce

CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.

Apologies to my 9 readers for getting overwhelmed with life which slows down the old blogging.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Nice but misguided

I like this excerpt from Jonah Goldberg of NationalReview.com

Canada is arguably the most deluded industrialized nation in the world. Because elite Canadians think the U.S. is the font of the world’s problems, they think being different than the U.S. and sucking up to the United Nations will buy them grace on the cheap. They claim to be “a nation of peacekeepers,” but they rank 50th among U.N. peacekeeper nations in the number of troops sent. They’ve bravely contributed to the war in Afghanistan, where 2,300 troops still serve, but refused to join the effort in Iraq, believing that jihadists would honor such fine distinctions. That was awfully nice of them. Too bad nice has nothing to do with it.

"Nice people" keep on underestimating the Muslim Jihadists. Canada dodged a bullet. Maybe they'll learn but I actually doubt it.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

LINK for Greg Gutfields' parody
LINK for Greg Gutfields' parody


BAGHDAD, Iraq - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who waged a heroic insurgent campaign of resistance against the bloody American occupation, was murdered by insensitive, homophobic and probably meat-eating U.S. warplanes, who dropped 500-pound bombs on his isolated safe house, which was also a battered woman's shelter, a milk factory and a petting zoo, officials said Thursday.
The bombs were probably made in Indonesia by underage slave labor and, according to Laurie David, extremely bad for the environment, especially old growth Redwoods and lemurs.

"Given the rampant bigotry of the Bush administration, I am not surprised that the identification of al-Zarqawi's face was entirely based on his skin color," says transient Russell Shaw. "They also killed his advisors, a chilling and unnecessary warning to any undergraduates who would like to pursue an advisory role for insurgent leaders."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Democrats need someone religious

An excerpt from Ann Coulter’s most recent book; how the Democrats look for religion.

Throughout the 2004 campaign, the Democrats were looking for a Democrat who believed in God—a pursuit similar to a woman searching for a boyfriend in a room full of choreographers. The religious outreach coordinator hired by the Democratic National Committee was Brenda Bartella Peterson, who had signed a brief to the Supreme Court advocating the removal of “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. Apparently, Madalyn Murray O’Hair was unavailable.
The religion adviser to John Kerry’s presidential campaign was Mara Vanderslice. She had previously been the religious outreach coordinator for Howard Dean—an assignment that would have required the patience of Job, whoever the hell he was. Vanderslice had spoken at rallies cosponsored by the radical gay group ACT UP, famous for a protest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral at which its members spat the Eucharist on the floor. She had been an organizer of violent protests in Seattle and Washington, D.C., when liberals reacted as any normal person would by smashing Starbucks windows and torching police cars because some bankers had come to town for a meeting. Vanderslice majored in “peace studies” at Earlham College. There she was a member of the Marxist-Leninist group that supported convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. That’s devoutly religious for a Democrat. In fact, by Democratic standards Vanderslice was a veritable C. S. Lewis.
I tell ya!  Coulter takes no prisoners.  But it makes you  wonder just what the Democrats are smoking when they think they can reach the religious right with people like Brenda Bartella Peterson and Mara Vanderslice.  Strange.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Good One

“Oprah Winfrey: Agent of Moral Insanity”
Article of the day HERE

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ingredients of a SPANGLISH SANDWHICH! (See Adam Sandler's movie)

3-4 slices of bacon
2 slices of Monterey Jack cheese
2 slices of toasted rustic country loaf (pain de campagne)
preferred substitution used here: sourdough boule)
1 tbsp of mayo
4 tomato slices
2 leaves of butterhead lettuce (Boston lettuce variety works here)
1 teaspoon butter
1 egg

It certainly makes my mouth water to look at it.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hate Christian Conservatives

“The great bogeyman of the academic Left is the Christian conservative movement. Yet an academic never has to go to church or send his children to church. The polar opposite of the evangelical mega-church in American society is the great leftist tent revival in academia, but to participate fully as citizens in this country, we have to attend that revival, and we have to send our children and grand-children there as well. Oh, and (when it comes to public universities) we spend our tax dollars to pay for it, regardless of the school our kids attend.”  http://phibetacons.nationalreview.com/ 

Monday, May 22, 2006


But then Jesus turns to His own and says, "But who do you say that I am?" Though Jesus has been revealing Himself to His disciples through His words, His deeds, and His presence, He had never asked them this question until now. Yet Peter says, "I know. You are the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Promised One, the Consolation of Israel, the one whom God promised, the Prophet that Moses promised in Deuteronomy, the Suffering Servant promised in Isaiah's prophecy, the one who would come and save His people from their sins. You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!"

Al Mohler

The comfort of heresy

Al Mohler on the attractiveness of heresy.

Why would persons prefer the false gospel to the true?
This is why: If the true storyline concerning Jesus Christ was that He was merely a mortal prophet who came to establish an earthly dynasty and to help us all celebrate the divine feminine and be a part of His circle of knowledge and enlightenment, then the fact is that we do not have to think about the fact that we are sinners. If that is what the life of Jesus is all about, then it is not about how we must be redeemed from our sin, but rather about how we can simply be enlightened and informed. The truth is, the human heart would much rather be told it is uninformed than that it is sinful.
If the truth about Jesus is that he was merely another human being, then God does not lay claim upon your life. He does not lay claim upon your marriage. He does not lay claim upon your sex life. If this is true, then God does not much care about any of that; he simply wants you to be informed. There is no "take up your cross and follow me." There is no discipleship. There is no dying to self and living to Christ. There is none of that, and there is no judgment. All of which sits well with the postmodern mind, for there are many people who think the best news they could hear is that they will never have to face judgment. As a matter of fact, the only way to understand the world around us is to acknowledge that the vast majority of our neighbors do not believe they will face judgment.
The reason false gospels are so attractive and so seductive is because it is convenient for us to be told that we are not the problem. We would much rather believe that the problem is a conspiracy--that humanity has been held in darkness because some have conspired to suppress the truth. “

The problem is:  we ARE the problem.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Church's role

WHAT is the church to do?

“You see, sometimes the church does not remember this, but it is the church's responsibility to anathematize. That is something we don't talk about very much, but it is the church's responsibility clearly to declare as false anything which stands against the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We live in a harmonious age when everyone wants to nod at everything, smile appreciatively at everything, and not pass judgment on anything. In the midst of such an age, however, the church is called to say "no" and to identify the false as false. Otherwise we cannot truly honor the truth.”                           Al Mohler

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Human Cannoballs

Ooh, I’m “down” with this.  Wouldn’t want to do it but would love to see it.

DARPA is considering using launching devices to thrust personnel onto the roofs of buildingsCircuses have been amusing crowds by shooting performers out of cannons for a long time. Variations of this can also be found in launchers using elastic cords, trampoline mats and Aircraft seat ejection technology. The problem with these designs is the unpredictable projectile and the lack of control over the launching device. US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is considering this concept as a way to catapult police, fire and special force officers on top of buildings in a hurry. The device will consist of a ramp with side rails that will seat the person. A cylinder will shoot compressed air from under the seat propelling the seat to the end of the rail. The chair will come to a sudden halt, but the very brave person sitting in the chair will not. The expectation is that the person will fly over the edge of the roof and land safely on top of the building. The DARPA patent adds that a computer can automatically find the correct angle and the appropriate launch speed. It also claims that with this equipment, the total flight time to reach the top of 5-story building will be less than 2 seconds. For now, I'll stick to the stairs.http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=2353

Monday, May 15, 2006

Not a great time to be a Russian

Not a great time to be Russian!   ( Found on Ace of Spaces)
– Tanker
“Sure, I know they are raking in the dough with oil over $70 a barrel. But I'm not switching passports anytime soon!
About 1% of the population is infected with HIV
Abortions exceed births
Shortest life expectancy in Europe and decreasing
Population decreasing by nearly 800,000 a year
Yikes, I think Putin is making Stalin look good!”

Perhaps being reared in a society where God is outlawed has its negative consequences.  jb

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Secularists shut you up

So, do you have more freedom of speech and thought at a Christian institution of higher learning or a secular institution of higher learning?

As my friend (and ADF colleague) Jordan Lorence often says, our secular universities are really the church schools of the left. To borrow his analogy, mission statements are the new Apostle's Creed, diversity training (and increasingly the courses themselves) functions much like Sunday School, and speech codes are the equivalent of anti-blasphemy laws. In general, an outspoken atheist at a conservative Christian college is far more likely to enjoy stimulating, civil debate than is an outspoken conservative Christian at one of our elite secular colleges.”  NationalReview - Phibetacons

Possibly you knew that.  jb

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The men and man to be


The picture's now 20 years old and the grandfather is deceased. It's special Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 12, 2006

Your Dad and you in the workplace

By Ellen WulfhorstFri May 12, 2:07 PM ET

Successes or failures of employees in the workplace can be traced to what kind of father they had, a psychologist argues in a new book.

In "The Father Factor," Stephan Poulter lists five styles of fathers -- super-achieving, time bomb, passive, absent and compassionate/mentor -- who have powerful influences on the careers of their sons and daughters.

Children of the "time-bomb" father, for example, who explodes in anger at his family, learn how to read people and their moods. Those intuitive abilities make them good at such jobs as personnel managers or negotiators, he writes.

But those same children may have trouble feeling safe and developing trust, said Poulter, a clinical psychologist who also works with adolescents in Los Angeles area schools.

"I've seen more people hit their heads on what they call a glass ceiling or a cement wall in their careers, and it's what I call the father factor," Poulter said in an interview. "What role did your father have in your life? It's this unknown variable which has this huge impact because we're all sons and daughters."

Styles of fathering can affect whether their children get along with others at work, have an entrepreneurial spirit, worry too much about their career, burn out or become the boss, Poulter writes.

Even absent fathers affect how their children work, he writes, by instilling feelings of rejection and abandonment.

Those children may be overachievers, becoming the person their father never was, or develop such anger toward supervisors or authority figures that they work best when they are self-employed, he writes.

"A lot of people say, 'I never knew my dad,"' he said. But, he added: "You knew the myth, you knew your mother's hatred, you knew your anger, you knew your dad was a loser. Trust me, you knew your dad.

"The father's influence in the workplace is really one of the best-kept secrets," he said. Poulter co-authored an earlier book on mothers and daughters called "Mending the Broken Bough." "The Father Factor" is set for release next month by Prometheus Books.

Looking at the influence of fathers fits with other recent research on workplace behavior, said William Pollack, a psychology professor and director of the Centers for Men and Young Men at McLean Hospital, part of Harvard Medical School.

"There's been a good deal of research to show not only that our family-life experience and our experience with our parents affects our personality, but it affects our corporate personality, both as leaders and followers," said Pollack, author of "Real Boys."

"There's also good research to show that for men and women, the way they identify with their father and their father's role may well affect how they interact as a manager or leader in the workplace."

Poulter, by the way, describes his own father as the absent type. After this book, he said, "my dad won't even talk to me."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I drive a 17 year old Maxima

I drive a 17 year old Maxima.  I’ve owned it about 6 years and it had a grand total of 20,000 miles on it when I bought it from a lady in my church.  She was the original owner and simply never went anywhere.  I’ve put 100,000 miles on the car so for a modern car the mileage is still tolerable.  I’ve had repairs done but nothing humongously  expensive to this point.

3 days ago I put the drivers window down and it then refused to come up.  Now with most modern cars, windows that won’t roll up are quite common and often expensive to fix – somewhere in the $300 range for 1 window.  I can live with a window that is down (none of my other windows work anymore by the way) but not during the summer when it rains almost every day in Florida.  

I went by my mechanic’s house who’s handled our cars for about 20 years to find out that he had taken a bad fall while cutting a limb off a tree in his back yard.  He broke his femur, his back and had a bad break of his wrist.  He’s currently in a rehab facility.  He won’t be doing any mechanicing for awhile.  DANG

Somebody suggested I see if I can’t just pull the window up and prop it closed.  Well what the “hey.”  So today I managed to get the inside of the door removed but could not for the life of me budge the window though I didn’t see anything holding it in place.  With the interior door stuff removed but still plugged in I decided I’d try the power window device again.  VOILA, with a little tugging on my part it had enough power to raise the window.  At this point I unplugged the power system (so I won’t accidently forget and lower the window) and my car is once more good to go without being a) broken into or b) rained upon.    Mechanics R Us.  

Sunday, May 07, 2006

We held the memorial

We held the memorial service for my father last Friday, May 5th 2006.  He lived 83 years of life on this Earth and he has heard his final, earthly goodbyes.  My time, physical and emotional effort has been towards the moment of time in which my father’s life would be honored.  I haven’t had the energy or spirit to write in this past week.

I have been much relieved that his suffering is over, much relieved that the burden of his illness no longer rests upon worn-out family members.  My father died at home, we never hospitalized him and we were also able to avoid a nursing home too.  That he died at home was a great blessing.

I am exhausted.  I made 3 trips to Sacramento and back in the last 90 days.  I hate airplanes, airports, air attendants and airheads – you know who you are!
But I’m back home after a sleepless night on American Air.  They did their job but I can’t rest on planes and so I’m very weary.  (I think the “friendly skies” left town 10 to 20 years ago.)

I’m also weary as I consider my mother’s loss.  She and dad were best friends for 63 years; they had a remarkable marriage.  Sadly I’m not sure dad ever enjoyed fatherhood.  He was prone to an ongoing depressive state so he found his children and grandchildren a source of frustration and irritation more than of joy.  He was prone to get mad and yell at the “lot of us.”  His anger was intimidating and certainly acted as a barrier against much in the way of emotional intimacy.

My mother lives in a little apartment on the end of my eldest sister’s home.  My sister and her husband, Jerry, have been absolute troopers in the last  weeks particularly.  They’ve housed a succession of relatives, me included, without let-up for the last 8 weeks.  To say it has worn on their nerves would be to put it mildly.    Every week somebody(s) was driving up and somebody(s) else was driving off.  On top of that they were the primary care giver for my father.  And on top of that my sister had to continue her full time, important employment.

The MEMORIAL SERVICE was so special.  I had requested that the grandchildren, now mostly in their 20’s and 30’s, have an active role in the service.  Two older cousins of mine, Bob and John,  provided the prelude, postlude and hymn singing – John leading the music and Bob accompanying.

Michelle wrote and performed two songs for the Memorial and young Molly wrote and performed a song with my sister and her husband.  The songs choked me up; I had to wipe my eyes several times.  Eldest grandson Todd was the first to speak, then Seth and Caitlin spoke, Kirk spoke also.  In their own ways they were so eloquent as they paid tribute to dad.  We also had a brief “open mike” time where two of my sisters shared plus dad’s oldest living friend John who was able to drive up from L.A. and grace us with his presence.

Nephew Zack wrote a humorous yet moving tribute to my father.  He says he performed this fete at 3 a.m. the morning before.

The Memorial was held in a beautiful little chapel that is part of the facility of Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church.  The weather was gorgeous, God’s handiwork was on display.  It could not have been nicer.

Then the reception followed where a 5 minute powerpoint presentation of my Dad’s life was displayed.  It was simply pictures in semi chronological order with a muted background hymn.  Powerpoint presentations can be truly powerful and moving as this one was.  Tributes go to my lovely wife who taught herself powerpoint in time to put it altogether.

ADRENALINE has carried us all the last two weeks, now we get to begin to experience loss and grief.  Hard days are ahead, especially for my precious little mother.

Healing to follow;  slowly.                      jb

Friday, April 28, 2006


FRANCIS SCHAEFFER decades ago prophesied “The Party of Death” (not to be confused with the Democratic Party necessarily but practically).

The Party of Death is a loose and shifting coalition of people and organizations that are working together to redefine humanity in ways that will allow us to kill our fellow human beings without suffering any penalties, either legal or moral. So far, their targets have been human beings at either end of life's spectrum. This is the commonality that links pro-choicers with supporters of euthanasia. In both cases, a human being is killed. In both cases, the PoD is ready to assure us that we aren't really killing human beings. Less-sophisticated PoD arguments use the tried-and-true "just a clump of cells" line. More-sophisticated arguments revolve around the concept of personhood, which is essentially a philosopher's way of claiming that a human life may not be entitled to human rights. In fact, Ramesh even devotes a whole chapter to "The Politics of Personhood," in which he summarizes the inherent problems with such reasoning:
We have developed ways of talking that enable us to pretend that this point [the death of a human organism] can be blinked away. In the case of abortion and embryo research, the main technique is to suggest that there is some great mystery about "when life begins," and that this alleged question is a religious or philosophical one. Yet science has long since solved the mystery. From conception onward, what exists is a distinct organism of the human species. The philosophical question is what we make of that fact. To jumble these issues together – the essentially scientific issue of categorizing an embryo as human and living, and the moral question of whether it follows from that categorization that it has a right to life – is a logical error.

The Party of Death II

More on “The Party of Death.”

On page 3 of his introduction, Ramesh identifies himself as someone who once supported "legal abortion, or euthanasia, or both." Only someone who has seen both sides of these struggles could have written a book like The Party of Death. One of the major themes of the book, proven over and over again, is that death refuses to be confined to whatever reasonable limits we may wish to establish. Whether the death-in-question is abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, or any other such spectre, the reasonable limits are inevitably eroded until the spectre has become our master. This valuable perspective is not something that one would expect from someone who had always been 100% pro-life, but rather from someone who had once believed in these limits until he saw them crossed.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Dad R.I.P.

My father died this morning after a year’s bout with cancer. He will be missed by his wife of 63 years, his 5 children, 12 grandchildren and his 8 great-grandchildren.

He was 83 and tried hard to serve God and do what was right. His family believes he succeeded. They say there are mansions in Heaven. He’s busy exploring his first mansion and he’s getting ready to sing with the celestial choir. He loved gospel music.

Thanks for a terrific legacy Dad. Your son!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Party of Death

I must read this book.

"The party of death started with abortion, but its sickle has gone from threatening the unborn, to the elderly, to the disabled; it has swept from the maternity ward to the cloning laboratory to a generalized disregard for 'inconvenient' human life." So begins The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life, by National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

carewarn, haggard and grey-haired

I like this quote on Cliff-Colman

“I have been a blood donor since 1971, a member of Mensa since 1981, and when not contemplating the meaning of life, the universe and everything I am most likely to be seen shouting abuse at ‘home’ referees at Sunderland away games - that I am broken in spirit and body, careworn, haggard, grey-haired and aged beyond my years, riven by unspoken fears and nameless dreads is of course the inevitable consequence of 30 years of supporting Sunderland.”

Now I don’t know what “sunderland” is but remind me not to support it.  But nice prose and I, even now, feel the wrinkles deepening.   sigh

Friday, April 21, 2006

Ann Coulter's homerun

(To good to miss in its entirety.)

by Ann Coulter
April 19, 2006

However the Duke lacrosse rape case turns out, one lesson that absolutely will not be learned is this: You can severely reduce your chances of having a false accusation of rape leveled against you if you don't hire strange women to come to your house and take their clothes off for money.

Also, you can severely reduce your chances of being raped if you do not go to strange men's houses and take your clothes off for money. (Does anyone else detect a common thread here?)

And if you are a girl in Aruba or New York City, among the best ways to avoid being the victim of a horrible crime is to not get drunk in public or go off in a car with men you just met. While we're on the subject of things every 5-year-old should know, I also recommend against dousing yourself in gasoline and striking a match.

Everyone makes mistakes, especially young people, but the outpouring of support for the victims and their families is obscuring what ought to be a flashing neon warning for potential future victims.

Whenever a gun is used in a crime, there are never-ending news stories about how dangerous guns are. But these girls go out alone, late at night, drunk off their butts, and there's nary a peep about the dangers of drunk women on their own in public. It's their "right."

Yes, of course no one "deserves" to die for a mistake. Or to be raped or falsely accused of rape for a mistake. I have always been unabashedly anti-murder, anti-rape and anti-false accusation — and I don't care who knows about it!

But these statements would roll off the tongue more easily in a world that so much as tacitly acknowledged that all these messy turns of fate followed behavior that your mother could have told you was tacky.

Not very long ago, all the precursor behavior in these cases would have been recognized as vulgar — whether or not anyone ended up dead, raped or falsely accused of rape. But in a nation of people in constant terror of being perceived as "judgmental," I'm not sure most people do recognize that anymore.

It shouldn't be necessary to point out that girls shouldn't be bar-hopping alone or taking their clothes off in front of strangers, and that young men shouldn't be hiring strippers. But we live in a world of Bill Clinton, Paris Hilton, Howard Stern, Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman," Democratic fund-raisers at the Playboy Mansion and tax deductions for entertaining clients at strip clubs.

This is an age in which the expression "girls gone wild" is becoming a redundancy. So even as the bodies pile up, I don't think the message about integrity is getting through.

The liberal charge of "hypocrisy" has so permeated the public consciousness that no one is willing to condemn any behavior anymore, no matter how seedy. The unstated rule is: If you've done it, you can't ever criticize it — a standard that would seem to repudiate the good works of the Rev. Franklin Graham, Malcolm X, Whittaker Chambers and St. Paul, among others.

Every woman who has had an abortion feels compelled to defend abortion for all women; every man who's ever been at a party with strippers thinks he has to defend all men who watch strippers; and every Democrat who voted for Bill Clinton feels the need to defend duplicity, adultery, lying about adultery, sexual harassment, rape, perjury, obstruction of justice, kicking the can of global Islamo-fascism down the road for eight years and so on.

This is crazy. (I can say that because I've never been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. Although I did test positive for "Olympic fever" once.)

In no area except morality would a sane person believe he can't criticize something stupid because he's done it. How about: If you've ever forgotten to fill up your car and run out of gas, you must forevermore defend a person's right to ignore the gas gauge. Or if you've ever forgotten to wear a coat in cold weather and caught a cold, henceforth you are obliged to encourage others not to dress appropriately in the winter.

This deep-seated societal fear of being accused of "hypocrisy" applies only to behavior touching on morals.

But we're all rotten sinners, incapable of redemption on our own. The liberal answer to sin is to say: I can never pay this back, so my argument will be I didn't do anything wrong.

The religion of peace's answer is: I've just beheaded an innocent man — I'm off to meet Allah!

I don't know what the Jewish answer is, but I'm sure it's something other than, "therefore, what I did is no longer bad behavior" — or the Talmud could be a lot shorter.

The Christian answer is: I can never pay this back, but luckily that Christ fellow has already paid my debt.

Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys

The Bird Flu vs. The Surrender Virus by Tammy Bruce


Human Bird Flu does not exist yet, and may never even happen.

The Surrender Virus does exist but luckily tends to stay within the borders of France.

Bird Flu, if it existed, would make you feel, well, like you have the flu. Then you'd get over it.

The Surrender Virus not only makes you feel like a loser, it actually transforms you into one. This is one of the more frightening aspects of SV, one for which there is no cure. Once a Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkey, always a Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkey.

The Bird Flu infects chickens, as well as other birds.

The Surrender Virus reveals your Inner Chicken, or more specifically your "Poulet Intérieur."

There is a vaccine for birds to fight the Bird Flu. If it ever morphs into a human strain, we'd get a vaccine, too.

There is no vaccine for the Surrender Virus. It just keeps coming back and back and back, just like that pizza you had last night.

The "rabbi" here. How can you not love this?

How far tolerance?

Great post on the limits of tolerance in the church.

There is a difference between a church saying “We welcome all persons” and “We welcome all behavior.” After all, two things distinguish Christian belief: a body of doctrine and a moral code. Following Jesus entails both. Jesus welcomed prostitutes, but he never welcomed prostitution. He was soft on adulterers, but unyielding on adultery. After forgiving the adulterous woman, in fact, he adds: “Go and sin no more.” And the tax collector Zacchaeus, on encountering Jesus, promises to pay back all those he has cheated — fourfold. Jesus never welcomed cheating, but he did welcome reformed cheaters. This is not just a matter of semantic hair-splitting. Jesus came to call sinners but to condemn sin, much as a doctor heals sick people but eradicates sickness.

Should churches welcome sinners?  They better otherwise I’ve got to go.  But should churches encourage moral living and discourage sin?  Absolutely; otherwise why attend?

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day:

G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown says, "No man's really any good till he knows how bad he is, or might be; till he's realized exactly how much right he has to all this snobbery, and sneering, and talking about 'criminals,' as if they were apes in a forest ten thousand miles away ... till he's squeezed out of his soul the last drop of the oil of the Pharisees; till his only hope is somehow or other to have captured one criminal, and kept him safe and sane under his own hat."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A little humor

A little humor; very little perhaps but…..

Subject: HEADLINES FROM THE YEAR 2029Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia, formerly known as California. White minorities still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia's third! Language. Baby conceived naturally - -   scientists stumped.Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.Iran still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels. France pleads for global help after being taken over by Jamaica Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking. George Z.  Bush says he will run for President in 2036.Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only. 85-year, $75.8 billion study: Diet and Exercise is the key to weight loss.Average weight! of Americans drops to 250 lbs.Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed, they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut.  Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative.Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights. Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches.IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.! Florida voters still having trouble with voting machines.

Monday, April 17, 2006

They don't really want diversity

Eugene Volokh, April 17, 2006 at 2:25pm] 1 Trackbacks / Possibly More Trackbacks
Interesting Tidbit About the Ohio State (Mansfield) Controversy:

It turns out that Scott Savage, the librarian who is charged with sexual orientation harassment because he had recommended that the school assign to freshmen an apparently anti-gay book, is a conservative Quaker who has given up many modern things, including conventional schooling — his wife home-schools (or at least home-schooled) their five children — and cars; he takes a horse and buggy to work.

This has little to do with the specific legal and academic freedom issues raised by the complaint against him, but I just thought the juxtaposition of Scott Savage's e-mail-born controversy and his horse and buggy was interesting. And perhaps there is also a broader connection to the persistent talk about "diversity" on campus. I suspect that Scott Savage's presence and participation adds more to the cultural diversity of the campus than does the presence and participation of most other faculty, students, and staff. But of course one aspect of cultural diversity is that people who belong to some cultures might not share the dominant university culture's view on some aspects, such as sexual behavior, and might even say things that some see as offensive. What a surprise.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Bad news for "Goths"

Another Shock Study: Goth Kids More Likely To Cut, Kill Themselves
– Ace

And they have a very high risk of wearing too much mascara, too.

YOUNG people who adopt the "Goth" lifestyle of dark clothes and introspective music are more likely to commit self-harm or attempt suicide than other youngsters, a Scottish study has found.

"Although only fairly small numbers of young people identify themselves as belonging to the Goth subculture, rates of self-harm and attempted suicide are very high among this group," said Robert Young, lead researcher of the Glasgow University study.

The Scottish team described Goths as being a subgenre of Punk "with a dark and sinister aesthetic, with aficionados conspicuous by their range of distinctive clothing and make-up and tastes in music"....

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that 53 per cent of those who were linked to the Goth subculture reported self-harm and 47 per cent had attempted suicide...

"One common suggestion is they may be copying subcultural icons or peers," Mr Young said.

"But since our study found that more reported self-harm before, rather than after, becoming a Goth, this suggests that young people with a tendency to self-harm are attracted to the Goth subculture."

Michael van Beinum, a child-and-adolescent psychiatrist, said the Goth subculture might be attractive to young people with mental health problems, allowing them to find a community where their distress might be more easily understood.

Good Friday

"The French positivist philosopher Auguste Comte once told Thomas Carlyle that he planned to start a new religion to replace Christianity. 'Very good,' replied Carlyle. 'All you have to do is be crucified, rise the third day, and get the world to believe you are still alive. Then your new religion will have a chance.'"

Good Friday is here. We are reminded that the Crucifixion of Jesus led to the hope of all mankind; the ability to overcome death and live forever with the Living God. We celebrate a terrible day which led to the greatest of days; Easter Sunday.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Trip Update

Well I made it to Sacramento without incident. HOWEVER it didn't all go as planned/hope. I did manage to upgrade to a better spot on the trip from Florida to Dallas. I made ABSOLUTELY SURE that I was the very first in line at the ticket counter (they said "bulkhead seats assigned at the gate") and first in line at the gate. I though "ah Hah!" Much to my surprise 7 D was taken. I was trying to figure out, how can it be taken when I'm the first in line and you CANNOT get yourself a bulkhead seat when you get your tickets/boarding pass online.
Well, the young man who occupied 7 D suffered from spasticity and his mother and father occupied 7 E and 7 F. Okay, that was fine. They gave me 7 B - which was an aisle seat on the bulkhead. Not as much leg room as 7 D but pretty darn good. Anyhow I asked the gate agent for a bulkhead seat from Dallas to Sacramento. She said I'd have to wait til I got to Dallas but she did APPEAR to give me an exit seat. In Dallas I asked for a bulkhead seat but they were all gone. Then I got to noticing my boarding pass for the exit row. It was for Phil Jones, not James Brown. They gave me the wrong boarding pass. Turns out there was, on the flight from Dallas to Sac. a Phil Jones sitting in the exit row in the seat I thought they had given me. DERN! I was ticked but what can you do. Too late to get another seat on the exit row I had to settle for 13 D. Bad seat of course but I can put up with just about anything for 3 hours. So here I am. Safe but ticked. sigh

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Flying the unfriendly skies

Tomorrow I'm scheduled to fly from Florida to Calif. I'm made the flight many times; I dread it each time.
Here's the problem. A) I'm cheap so I always buy a seat in the slum/ghetto area of the airliner. B) I'm semi-massive these days. I'm 6'4" and weigh somewhere around 250. Economy class seating was not planned for the likes of me.

Okay, here's my plan. I'm flying American Airlines their M80 plane. I discovered 2 months ago the magnificence of seat 7 D. 7 D in at the bulkhead and on the aisle. I can actually stretch my long legs with size 14 feet without barking my shins on the seat in front of me. And because it's a bulkhead; there is NO seat in front of me. SWEET!

When you buy your tickets online you get some seat choices. But they won't let you choose a bulkhead seat or an exit row (which on the M80 provides nice leg room).

So here's my plan; I'll print out my boarding pass tonight and show up at the ticket counter at "oh-dark-30" hoping to be first in line. If I'm lucky they'll give me D7 assumig nobody else has reserved it. That would be "muy bueno."

Next time you're flying an M80 - American ask for row 7; the bulkhead. Even if you don't get seat D you ll be far better off.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Scientific Booswaa

Remind me once again why we trust “scientific studies?”

Raymond G. De Vries, an associate professor of medical education at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and three colleagues last year reported surveying more than 3,000 scientists about whether they had ever engaged in misbehavior, such as changing a study because of pressure from a source of funds, or failing to present data that contradict one's own research. One-third of the scientists acknowledged they had committed some form of research misbehavior.      LINK

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Movie Review My Best Friend's Husband

Movie Review:  My Best Friend’s Husband 2002 – made for TV starring, among others,  Cheryl Ladd.

Can I tell you I hated this movie?  Can I tell you that right off the bat.

It’s Saturday at 2pm; I’m home alone just coming in from work and I flip on the TV to see what sports might be afoot.  As I’m flipping through the channels I pause briefly at the WB (channel 17) where there’s a movie that seems somewhat interesting.  Seeing there are no other immediate joys yet showing on the stupid screen I go back to the WB.  Well this attractive married lady is telling her best friend that she wants some freedom to grow, open her own business and maybe be friends with other men.  Inwardly I groan.

I groan because I’m heard this all before.  Too many ladies have decided they’d pass on decent husband to be free, independent, experience the joys of their own business and “grow.”

Then we go to the husband.  Seems like a decent sort; is quite aware that there’s something wrong with his marriage but his wife and her girlfriend won’t tell him what.  He and wife have big argument and she says “I want a divorce.”  It’s downhill from there.  He argues with her, her college age daughter argues with her as does her best friend.  She’s adamant; “It’s time for me to move on.”  Then she expresses the stupidest of all statements I constantly hear;  “We’ve grown apart.”   Yeech, I hate that phrase.

Husband and best friend are thrown together in a couple of situations and they discover they really like each other.  Best friend is recently widowed.
Husb. and best friend start having an affair.  (Husband is out of the house by this time; no reconciliation in sight with wife.)

College age daughter ends up catching Dad and Mom’s best friend smooching and blows the whistle on them to Mom.  Mom goes to apartment and confronts couple.  Mom and best friend have a scream fest in the apartment parking lot.  Mom calls best friend  a “ho” and slaps her.  They part on bad terms.  ( Duh).

Best friend is upset; husband attempting to calm and reassure her.  Best friend, according to the script, doesn’t get a clue and just call off the affair.  I’m begging from the easy chair;  “Hey Cheryl Ladd!  Just walk away girl.  Do yourself a favor will ya.”  Cheryl doesn’t hear me and continues to be torn in all directions and carries on the affair.  

Now it gets ugly.  College age girl talks to best friend and acknowledges she knows things change.  Best friend goes and finds wife and they talk; all is not exactly forgiven but they hug before best friend walks away.  HOPE is on the horizon as the movie ends.

“BOGUS” I yell from the easy chair.  “Ya don’t get your best friend back when you’re seeing her ex-husband who just moved out two or three months ago.”  “BOGUS” I again scream in disgust.

Where’s the ongoing pain?  Where’s the permanent loss?  Where’s the accompanying guilt and shame to anybody with ½ a conscience.  “NO,” I bellow.  “IT NEVER WORKS OUT.”  

Anyhow, the movie is over and I’ve now returned to the only honest sport  on TV – Professional Rasslin’.    The plot there is much more realistic.